Paige VanZant has found a new home.
The former UFC fighter says she has signed a new quadruple and exclusive contract with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
Her debut for BKFC is not ready yet, but the current plan is for her to compete in November.
“It was a great contract, a great opportunity,” VanZant told ESPN. “I also feel that it is not a step backwards for me. It is a side transition to a new opportunity, a new challenge, a completely new sport. I have really gained a whole new passion for it and especially for hitting in general.
“And besides, I feel like I still have this stigma in MMA that I’m just a beautiful face, and what a way to prove to people that it̵
The total for the deal is worth over $ 1 million, with incentives attached. That represents a significant increase from what she did in the UFC.
The 26-year-old VanZant completed her UFC contract in July after losing to Amanda Ribas at UFC 251. She left the organization with a 5-4 record in the Octagon and an 8-5 pro record. She has never competed in naked fights or professional boxing.
VanZant has not ruled out a return to MMA.
“I do not know I’m done with MMA,” VanZant said. “I know I’m for a while. I still have a huge passion for MMA, and I recently moved to Florida to train with the American Top Team. It’s obvious they’re one of the best MMA gyms in the world. Right now is my only focus on boxing, but in a few years I could go back to MMA, or I could just do so much with this naked knee boxing that I do nothing else. “
One of the more popular fighters in MMA, VanZant, who reached the finals of “Dancing With the Stars” in 2016, had recently been outspoken about her salary in the UFC, claiming that she did more on the reality show than in her entire UFC career combined. She also said she could earn more posts on Instagram than in a UFC fight at her old store.
Sources say the campaign did not take part in serious talks to sign her again in her final fight. VanZant spoke to other MMA organizations after the Ribas battle before joining BKFC.
“I talked to a lot of different campaigns,” VanZant said. “I actually had no idea that I would have so many with such great offers. I knew I would get the big players in the game, like Bellator or ONE, but I actually had five or six huge, solid campaigns that I had to “For me, right now in my career, the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship was the best fit.”